Worried About my 5 year old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by PennyGirl, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. PennyGirl

    PennyGirl New Member

    I am glad I found this site today and I wonder if anyone can help me?

    I have a little girl who just turned 5. She is extremely difficult and prone to hour long screaming fits. She had colic as a baby and it seems like she never outgrew it! I just wonder if anyone could tell me if her behavior is typical of a 5 year old? I have 2 nieces and neither was anything like this BUT all kids are different so I just don't know...
    Here's some info about her:
    1. Had severe Colic as a baby
    2. Wore a plagiocephaly helmet for 4 months
    3. Major major bedtime anxiety and will scream and cry and hit for about 2 hours before
    bedtime every night for 5 years. (now taking melatonin on advice from Pediatrician)
    4. Has about 3 major screaming tantrums per day and cannot calm herself (I think this is
    is too many at her age and they are very extreme and long in duration) she'll trash her
    room, etc. In these moments, I really feel there is something more than just normal
    tantrums. Also, she is in preschool, so she'll have one boyfriend school, then after and then at
    bedtime. I give the tantrums no attention and praise for good behavior ~ the whole 9
    5. Can't seem to control emotions at home but never a problem at preschool
    (this is always my sticking point, she's fine there, and won't stop screaming at home)
    6. Extreme sensitivity to socks, cannot stand the "bumps" or lines in her socks and I don't
    even have her wear them now
    7. I am doing the Total Transformation program with her and sometimes I feel like it's
    working but other times, not at all. I just feel like it gives me a little more of a road map
    8. She's very bright, reading, creative, loving and gets along great with other children.

    I would love any advice as to what anyone thinks. My pediatrician thinks I am over-reacting, but she goes into hysterics daily and sometimes tries to pull at her skin and hair bc she is so upset. Are 5 year olds still having daily tantrums or does this sound like something more? I'm just so exhausted from all of this and willing to try anything to help her...
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Pennygirl! Welcome to the site! You'll enjoy the group - lots of experience, strong shoulders and sympathetic ears here!

    Yes it certainly does sound like you've got your hands full. And to answer your question: Yes it sounds like there's a problem. Quite often pediatricians are in more denial than the parents are! :hammer:

    My personal belief? I'd get a neuropsychologist done. The testing is done over a few days, it's extensive and they'll ask you a ton of questions that will help them zero in on the issues that are causing you to test. It's all looked at and they'll be the ones to diagnose the issues at hand and then at least you'll have a road map to figure out your best steps.

    I'd also suggest that you read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It's an easy read and will give you some insights as to how some kids brains work.

    Have you considered Occupational Therapy for her? It could really help with the sensory issues (the bumps on the socks, sounds, textures, etc.). If she has tactile defensiveness, they can work with her and that could aleviate some of the meltdowns that you're experiencing.

    Again, welcome to the group - it's a great place to ask questions - as I said a vast amount of experience lies within!

  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I agree that an evaluation is indicated by her behaviors. Since your pediatrician isn't listening you will want to educate yourself, because often insurance companies will require a primary care physician's referral.

    I'd reccomend reading "What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions by Dr. Douglas Riley" for starters.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    A history of plagiocephaly carries a high risk for developmental delays and cognitive issues. Between that, the current difficult behaviors and the sensory issues I think you should be able to make a case for a neuropsychologist assessment through your insurance.

    Sounds like she is having trouble with transitions. Home to preschool, preschool to home, bedtime = all times of major transitions.

    She is almost old enough for kinder. So another possibility is to request she be assessed for Special Education through your local school district. But if she's not having any problems during preschool then you may want to hold off on that and try to get the neuropsychologist assessment, which will be a much more thorough process and is probably needed no matter what, given her history.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ditto on the neuropsychologist.
  6. Confused

    Confused Guest

    Hi PennyGirl,
    I'm sorry for what you are going thru.For the Colic,Helmet,sock issue and anxiety, I am unsure what to say. For the screaming tantrums, I understand! My son started screaming, but has been full rage for the last 2 years when angry. He can last 30 minutes to 3 hours this way and has also hurt us. School wise, same thing! So far he has been good at school but at home, he lets it all go! Some days we have no trouble (also bright) but it is several times a week for any reason. I agree with the other members here to go for an evaluation. My son's psychiatrist he just started going to (3 times so far) first asid anxiety,and ODD but now because he is so bright and calm in front of them he needed to be socialized and to let him grow! So, It is hard to get the DR's to listen to us when we live with our kids and know something is wrong or different. To me, 5 year olds are not supose to have these problems. I wish you luck.
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    From what I can gather, tantrums in so called normal children are rare beyond the age of 4. Daily tantrums are certainly a cause for concern.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Tantrums that go on for hours are not normal though.

    Not all kids have tantrums. Only two of my five did and the only one who had long ones was the child on the autism spectrum.
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Actually... on the subject of tantrums, I'd be interested to know what is considered "normal" - from those of you that have also raised children who do not have particular difficulties or issues. I have read that tantrums in children beyond the age of four are rare... does that sound about right? Difficult to assess what is a tantrum also, perhaps. My son has what I call tantrums - ie vivid crying, mainly when he doesn't get what he would like - about once a day (twice on Sundays, lol :) ) They don't last that long, maybe five minutes or so in most cases, though sometimes they can go on for as long as 15 or 20 minutes. I do not see other four year olds having tantrums out in public... Various of my friends and even family think (of course) that J's tantrums are because I am not tough enough with him, etc. This I am now firmly convinced is nonsense and simply arises out of their ignorance. I NEVER give J what he wants when or because he has a tantrum. It makes no difference. He still has them.
    Some perspective on tantrums would be interesting...
  10. PennyGirl

    PennyGirl New Member

    Thank you all so much for posting and of course for the helpful input. I really appreciate it more than you know...
    Oh these tantrums! I've purchased her seamless socks and she seems to tolerate them. I recently started with a therapist to help her control her anger but my daughter is unwilling to implement the techniques at home. She has started saying a lot of things about "I wish Mommy and Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa were dead" and "I tell mean secrets about you" (I think she does this for shock value), but then 10 minutes later, she'll say, "I'm sorry, I love you so much". No one who knows her would ever believe it and I certainly don't tell them. Oh, so stressed out :(
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have raised four kids to at least age fourteen. My oldest son never had tantrums or meltdowns at all. My daughter had some tantrums when she was upset, but they were short term. She would have them sometimes when she was older than four, but they were fleeting. My youngest, how is now fourteen, would pout, but never threw fits. She just wouldn't talk and sulked. I'd say the longest she did that was maybe a half an hour. My autistic spectrum son had longer tantrums that sometimes included punching and hitting and spitting and kicking, etc. He however stopped having tantrums once he was able to express himself, at about age 4 1/2. He blew up sometimes, but not very often.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    My vote is for the neuropsychologist, as well.

    Something to consider - whether it is true in your case I cannot say - but I know a few serious difficult children who hold it together in public, but at home are start raving maniacs. Probably from the stress of holding it together. And perhaps it is because these difficult children feel safe at home...
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    To some extent, maybe a little more common than we know. Even "normal" children can put so much into their day that they really don't quite hold it together at home - they just don't turn into raging maniacs and/or other major challenges.
    Yes, part of it is the stress of holding it all together.
    and Yes, part of it is that "home" is "safe" - so, you don't have to hold yourself together, so you don't.

    At least, that's our experience, too - own family, plus observations.
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Is it also because outside - ie mainly school - is also more structured and predictable, something that "explosive" children probably like? My son, as far as I know (and I think I would have been told), has never had what I call a tantrum, ie intense and prolonged crying, at school, yes has them regularly at home... I think this is probably partly because he always knows what to do and what to expect at school. But then he has never had a tantrum at the childminder's either, where he just plays with other children... I suspect it is also to do with "face". My son, and doubtless other similar children, seems to have a strong sense of what is and is not required of him socially, of what he is expected to do to conform and "please" - this sense seems to work well with him in a public setting.
    Just a few thoughts.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If your son has some sense of what is expected, and is able to deliver... then that is actually GOOD news. Kids with pervasive disorders (stuff in the autism spectrum, for example) can't do that.

    So... allowing for the burn-out factor (home will may always be less "good" than public), are there ways you can add structure at home? Breakfast routines, bedtime routines, predictable sequence of events when arriving home? Transition points are usually worse than the rest of the time - and these three are major transitions.

    You're not on the wrong track... so hang in there and keep trying stuff!
  16. alicoles2

    alicoles2 New Member

    I just found this site - did you have any luck with the suggestions from this thread? I have a similar situation. It's funny you mentioned the sock thing - my almost 5 year old complains of the same stuff. I just bought some seamless socks at Nordstrom and they are the only socks that don't seem to bother her. She has never been a great sleeper and she is very bright and funny and sweet...and then there is another side to her. Her screaming fits make me want to shove a fork in my eyeball. They put me and my husnamd on edge and my poor 3 year old gets woken up when she does this. I have tried taking things away (ex. gymnastics at camp tomorrow got taken away even though I already paid for it), spanking just escalates things and makes it worse and ignoring works but only after about 30 minutes. In the meantime, the 3 year old is crying and my husband and I are both drained. The melatonin gave her night terrors. I took her to a psychologist and it didn't seem to help and the neurologist just says she will most likely be diagnosed with ADHD (I was diagnosed with it this past year so I am not suprised). I am in therapy just to figure this parenting thing out. It is the hardest job I have ever had.
    Sorry for the long-winded post. Just curious to know if you had any luck with the suggestions. Did you try occupational therapy? My pediatrician recommeded it but I haven't done it yet. Maybe that is a good step to take. Oh, and my daughter is perfect at school. things are much better than they used to be but tonight she kicked it old school style and screamed in her room for an hour. I had to walk away. Any suggestions or help would be most appreciated!